Ankle pain that continues for more than a week or two isn't normal. If you ignore your pain, you might face long-term ankle problems that could affect your ability to walk, run or jump. Our Silver Spring, MD, podiatrists discuss common causes of ankle pain and explain treatment options.
Why does my ankle hurt?
Your ankle joint is made up of bones, tendons and ligaments. Surrounding the joint are muscles that help support it. An injury to any of these structures can cause ankle pain. Common causes of ankle pain include:
- Sprains and Strains: If you landed on your ankle the wrong way after jumping or twisted it when you stepped in a hole, you may have a strain or sprain. Sprains occur when a ligament stretches or tears, while a strain happens if a muscle or tendon tears or stretches. Both injuries can be very painful and may affect your ability to put weight on your ankle.
- Fractures: Ankle fractures can occur after vehicular accidents, falls or a jump gone wrong. It's not always easy to tell if you've sprained or strained your ankle or broken it. If it's difficult to put weight on your ankle, the joint looks deformed or you notice severe bruising or swelling, it may be fractured. Call our Silver Spring, Olney, Clinton or Kensington office as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms.
- Stress Fractures: Stress fractures don't occur as a result of an accident, but are usually the result of overuse injuries. The fractures can happen when you decide to suddenly add 10 miles to your usual running schedule or begin working out again after months or years of inactivity.
- Achilles Tendinitis: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of your heel can cause pain and swelling around your heel and ankle. If you ignore the symptoms and don't decrease your activity level, the tendon may eventually tear.
How can a foot doctor help me?
Podiatrists offer a variety of treatments designed to get you on your feet again. If you have a sprain, fracture or Achilles tendinitis, a walking boot and crutches will decrease pressure on your ankle, facilitating healing. Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around your ankle, improving stability and normal range of motion. If your fractured bone is displaced or a severe sprain has caused ankle instability, surgery may be recommended.
Would you like to ease your ankle pain? Schedule an appointment with our podiatrists by calling (301) 439-0300 for the Silver Spring, MD, office, (301) 924-5044 for the Olney office, (301) 868-7670 for the Clinton office and (301) 942-8110 for the Kensington office.